It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Sister Mary Brendan Conlon, 93. Sister Brendan was a teacher, administrator, writer, social activist and friend, who entered the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville in 1946 and began her teaching ministry in 1948 at Sacred Heart Model School. She was also a beloved teacher at Sacred Heart Academy from 1956 to 1967.
In 1994, Sr. Mary Brendan Conlon and Sr. Janet Marie Peterworth saw the immense need in the rural coal-towns of West Virginia and began neighboring agencies to combat both the dire, immediate emergencies people were facing and the need for systemic solutions to the severe poverty known in the region. For the last 25 years, the Sacred Heart Schools community has been assisting these two agencies, Christian Help of Mingo County and ABLE Families to provide Christmas gifts for the children and a Christmas meal for their families. In 2019, Sister Brendan said, “After all these years, the gift drive demonstrates the caring actions of so many from Sacred Heart Schools. To me, it is important to care for so many beautiful people who have had unfortunate circumstances because of coal mines closing. The gift drive is quite simply, people caring for and serving people.”
In reaching the 25-year milestone last fall, the schools officially named the annual drive the "Sister Brendan Appalachian Gift Drive" in honor of Sister Brendan who created the partnership so long ago.
Sister Brendan's legacy of charity and servant leadership will live on in our memories and through our gifts of service each year in continuing the gift drive bearing her name, forever connecting the current Sacred Heart Schools Community to the Louisville Ursulines’ openness and eagerness to serve the needs of others.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 25, in the Motherhouse Library with Vigil at 7:00 pm. The funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 am in the Motherhouse Chapel on Monday, July 26, with burial to follow in St. Michael Cemetery. Masks are required if not vaccinated. The funeral Mass will be live-streamed on our Facebook page Monday, July 26, at 11 am ET: .
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Christian Help of Mingo County, PO Box 1257, Kermit, West Virginia, 25674 or the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and mailed to the Mission Advancement Office, 3115 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40206.
Please click here to read more about Sister Brendan: https://www.facebook.com/UrsulinesLouisville